On Tuesday, June 7, Gary Barr was sitting by himself at Yanz Place at 10 a.m. when he felt something hot on his leg.
“I looked to the left and I didn’t see anybody, so I looked to my right and there was a guy standing there,” said Barr. “Right away he ran around behind me and took off out the door. As he’s going out the door he says, ‘You better get tested.’”
After he left, Barr realized he had been stabbed with a syringe.
“The manager called the police, they came, told them what happened and told me to go to the hospital and report it,” he said.
Barr said the man was playing one of the pub’s VLTs and had gotten up without him noticing.
“It’s just the weirdest thing that’s ever happened,” said Barr. “It’s not even weird, it’s sick what’s going on out there.”
At the hospital, Barr was told about a drug cocktail available for people who may have been exposed to an infected needle, but the medication is very hard on the body.
“He said you’re better off just to get checked every three, six, nine months rather than go through the cocktail route,” Barr said.
A Saskatoon doctor said the risk of contracting a blood-borne illness in this situation is not super high because the needle was likely not stabbed directly into a blood vessel.
“About 1 in 450 is the odds of contracting HIV through an exposure like this is the resource I came across,” said Adam Ogieglo, a Saskatoon family doctor.
“If it was a contaminated or dirty needle, you have to be concerned about Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.”
In terms of Barr’s health, he said he currently feels fine.
The Saskatoon Police Service issued a statement saying it received a call around 10:15 a.m. for service to the 2200 block of 22nd Street West.
Police say they have not received any other reports of this nature.
The assault is under investigation and police ask anyone with information to call 306-975-8300 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.